What would one expect a mans personality and traits to be Like If he was to send his wife away for being to easily impressed and made happy too soon? It is just the man Robert Browning portrays In his poem “My Last Duchess” as the Duke who explains a painting of his late wife in a dramatic dialogue. A quick glance at ” My Last Duchess” readers can easily pick up on at least one element: arrogance. The speaker of the poem exhibits arrogance rooted in his audacious sense of greed and dominance over others. But in order to really understand the Duke readers need to
Indulge Into the dramatic dialogue, paying close attention to both what Is said and unsaid. With arrogance, greed, and Jealousy giving the reader the basis for the Dukes personality they also represent the three main elements presented In “My Last Duchess”. The Duke Is without a doubt a very possessive man that does not Like when others take advantage of his so called possessions. The first time we get a glimpse at his greed Is In line one of the poem when he states, ‘That’s my last Duchess painted on the He shows the need to prove she was a piece of his property and that he essentially owns her Just like he owns the painting of her.
In addition, the Duke ‘s need to use the word “my” in front of a lot of things he talks about. From when he says ” My last Duchess” to even when he states ” My gift of a nine-hundred years old name. ” (33)The Duke keeps the painting behind a curtain and gets to control when people are allowed o view the painting just like he wanted to have to power or controlling who got to see his wife’s smile when she was alive. The Duke seems pleased with himself in being able to preserve his wife’s smile in the artwork and being able to achieve the ownership he wanted before.
The Duchess would often share that smile with everyone, instead of reserving it exclusively for the Duke. It seems she cared for her husband and would show him that smile but he saw her as being ungrateful and most likely disloyal as well. He wanted to be her only person of her affection. He may not have revealed his feelings through explosive emotions to the currier, but the reader can deduce the Duke did not like the Duchess’ lack of worship and praise towards his dominance. The Duke’s greed and Jealousy coincide in this poem because his greed is what leads to his jealousy over his Duchess enjoying the compliments of others.
As mentioned before the Dukes greedy manner goes right alongside his jealousy. When others admire his possessions without his consent he becomes very Jealous. HIS Jealousy stands out when he says “She had a heart- how shall I say? – too soon made glad, too easily This is what in turn leads to him sending her away or as he says It I gave the commands; then all smiles stopped together. ” (45-46)The reader is left to believe his Jealousy of other men enjoying the Duchess’s laugh or smile pushed the Duke to the point where he felt It was her fault for it all and had her killed.
The Duke did not want to share his wife’s joy with others and he became outrageously Jealous. Even going as far as having her killed because 1 OFF en could not stand to see near KICK at another man Tanat way gall. HIS Jealousy made him so afraid he would lose her to anther man he chose to simply kill her and resolve that problem before it escalated beyond his control. The Duke has an unparalleled arrogance that gives off the belief he is superior to everyone he encounters. For example, when the Duke becomes upset with the Duchess for ranking his gift of his last name with the gifts of other men.
He acts as though she has to be out of her mind to believe for one second that anything could be as great as being given his name. Also at the end of the poem the Duke is standing over the currier in a way that makes it seem like the Duke is better than the currier. Likewise, when the Duke suggested they go meet the company below them he says it in a way suggesting the people below really are of lesser importance than him. Browning is able to express the Duke’s traits to the reader through symbolism. The most obvious symbol in this poem was the painting of the Duchess.
To the reader the minting seems to be of a beautiful woman who was always happy and Joyful, as described by the Duke, but the Duke does not tell any memories of her where he really expresses how he had made her happy or show how beautiful she truly was. It is almost like the Duke has the painting of the Duchess to show visitors and receive admiration for having such a beautiful woman as his wife. Also in one of the last lines of the poem the Duke shows his visitor a statue of Neptune taming a sea-horse. This may be a way the Duke sees himself as a powerful man who is able to control what e wants and get what he wants.
For both the painting of the Duchess and the statue there is no real value to the Duke but more of a way to show off to others the things he posses and that is what is more rewarding to him than having the two items. Further more, Browning also uses irony throughout his poem. It is expressed throughout the poem as the Duke explains the painting and the Duchess. He explains how the Duke has this beautiful painting of the Duchess but he does not really talk positively of her and more so talks bad about her. Even more, the title itself has some irony to it.
The title says ” My Last Duchess” and it is inferred that is a way for the Duke to say he is not going to re-marry and that was his last Duchess. But after reading the whole poem it is obvious that the Duke is actually talking to a currier sent to see if the Duke is worthy of marrying the daughter of his master. The irony being that the Duke says it was his last Duchess but he is looking to re-marry. It contradicts what the Duke had said and shows that the last Duchess may not be the last woman he marries and also may not be the last woman he murders.
On the contrary, a reader may read this poem and believe the Duchess is not so innocent as she initially comes across as. Her smiles at other men may be symbolic for her having promiscuous behavior. Everyone the Duchess smiles at can be inferred to be in sexual relations with her. However, this outlook can also be question when she gives Joy towards the sun setting and the cherry trees in the courtyard. To follow the belief the Duchess is some sort of sexual deviant she must also be a form or goddess in order to have sex with something like the sun.
Although the Duke may to me the most reliable narrator, he does keep most of his conversation on a literal, not a symbolic, level. Not to say that Browning did not include symbolic references in the poem but from the standpoint of the Duke he does not express much symbolism. So even tong en may not De a trustworthy contracted, teen reader snouts Delve that when he says, “She looked on, and her looks went everywhere” (24) he is talking about her smile. Ultimately, it is apparent that Browning has labeled the Duke as a narcissistic character who portrays qualities such as arrogance, greed, and Jealousy.
The Duke ride to have control over everything in his life and was not going to let others take away what he saw as his. No single moral lies beneath “My Last Duchess” but It can be inferred the message sent it to do to other what you would want done to you. Being a self-centered person will never get you ahead in life and the Duke unfortunately did not understand that. Furthermore, the symbols that are scattered throughout the poem give intensity and depth. Without the abundant symbolism, certain structure and specific techniques; “My Last Duchess” would not have the power it beholds as a dramatic monologue.